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Via Half Marathon Recap

September 13, 2011

Sunday morning I woke up around 4:15 AM so I could eat a good breakfast and digest it before we left the house.  We arrived at the start of the half marathon part of the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon for Via in Bethlehem, PA in plenty of time for me to pin my bib on and stand around being nervous.

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I thought the opening ceremonies were really nice – especially since I knew we weren’t at the beginning of the marathon.  The bagpipers from Liberty High School played and a few people spoke since it was the anniversary of September 11.  Soon the race was beginning whether I was ready or not!

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The race started out just fine and after we got through the Main Street area of Bethlehem we were on smaller paths so people were trying to find their place but most of the super serious runners were out in front already.  For some reason the first few miles are always so hard for me!  I realized the woman below in the blue top was running about the pace I wanted to run so I ran behind her and later I ended up behind the other woman!  Otherwise I think I would have run too fast or had to check my Garmin a lot to keep on pace.

Hubs was taking photos around the 3.75 mile mark and I was feeling pretty good at this point, and vowing to run until 5 miles and then consider a walking break.

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I ate two Clif Shot Bloks/Honey Stinger Energy Chews around mile 5, 1 more around 7 and then 1 or 2 more at 9.5.  I unexpectedly saw my husband and my mother-in-law around 9.5 and was feeling strong at that point.  I ditched my Spibelt with them and went on my merry way!

I will say that the course was nice and flat (it was net descent at least before they changed the course post-flooding) and it was nice running on the towpath, but it did make for long stretches where nobody was cheering or watching.  If I was running the marathon I think I would have gotten pretty bored!

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I saw my family a little after mile 10 and was still feeling pretty good since I’d just made it up a very steep hill.  From that point on was where the course had to be changed due to recent flooding and the new course had a lot more hills!  I was dying from mile 11-13!  I walked halfway up a couple hills and while I ran most of the course I was a little frustrated by all the walking I was doing at the end.

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Nevertheless I eventually made it to the finish at 2:27, just under my 2:30 goal which I wasn’t really holding myself accountable to but was psyched to hit since I’m a very slow runner.  Somehow I sprinted to the finish and mere minutes later I was saying, “how was I just running because I can barely walk now?” 

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Look I got a medal!  I’m a firm believer that medals are pretty good motivation!

We hung around the finish until a relay team from Tim’s work finished (about 1:45 hours after me) and by that time I was getting pretty hungry and the bagel from the food tent wasn’t doing it.  We stopped at a coffee shop for drinks and then headed home so I could shower and change.  Lunch/dinner was of course…Cali Burrito!

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We stopped to visit one of the husband’s old friends who was in town for the weekend and then we wrapped up the night with ice cream!  Which I was honestly not that hungry for, but I was craving something sweet!

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Whew!  I can’t believe I ran a half marathon!  Two years ago I almost had to run the marathon relay as part of a team at work which would have been about a 5 mile leg and I thought that was CRAZY.  I’m thinking of running another half this fall since I wouldn’t have to train as long to get ready for it but I haven’t decided yet.  For the next couple days at least I’ll just revel in my personal distance record of 13.1 miles!

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